Nakládaný hermelín (marinated cheese) is the best thing on earth. The end.

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And it’s otherworldly with beer and brown bread. This I know.

Yes, I also know that fresh is always better. But my spice cabinet begs to differ. And at 4:00 pm on a Sunday, it wins.

Here’s how you make Nakládaný hermelín.

Ingredients
A few rounds of Camembert
sliced garlic (2-3 cloves per cheese round)
rosemary
thyme
allspice
juniper berries (15 per whole cheese round)
equal parts pepper and sweet paprika
thinly sliced onions (including 1 red onion)
thinly sliced red and green bell peppers
bay leaves
vegetable oil (preferably sunflower oil)

Slice each round of cheese in half and scatter the garlic over each half. Next sprinkle over the rosemary, thyme, allspice, juniper, pepper, and sweet paprika. Close the rounds. Scatter a thin layer of onions, bell peppers, and bay leaves over the bottom of the jar. If the jar will fit a whole round of cheese, add it whole; if not, slice the cheese into halves or quarters (or whatever will fit) and add one layer. Add a few more slices of onion and bell pepper, and then cram in as much cheese as will fit without squishing beyond recognition. Submerge everything with sunflower oil, seal, and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. (Beware that refrigerated garlic in oil can lead to botulism if not consumed within a week.)

Aren’t recipes that end by warning with disease fun? Carpe diem!

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To be honest, I’m a little worried now.

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After all, this cheese is for the party that Megan’s throwing to celebrate the launch of our DailyLit projects.

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Poisoning people at your launch party is simply not done in New York.

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Or anywhere, really.

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But it looks pretty spectacular, especially in those jars I took the Water Taxi to Brooklyn to get, this morning.

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I love the Water Taxi.

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At least it was a glorious day for a boat ride.

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As I waited for the Water Taxi at Pier 11, and then in Red Hook, I realized how happy I am to be living in a city with a harbor, again. Maybe after The Big Launch Party Cheese Debacle, I’ll need to find another city with a harbor, in which to live anonymously.

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Maybe I should’ve made bábovka.

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